I spend a lot of time suturing in the E.D.
Usually I like to pull these patients back right away so I can get started on them,
because I know that I'm going to be with them for a while.
Recently, despite an earlier post, I've started playing music while I suture.
Most patients say that it helps them to relax. I wonder if I could write off my SiriusXM subscription
since I always ask the patient what their favorite music is.
I've had requests for country, and 40's.
Rock, disco and blues.
And, I've found you can't always predict what someone likes to listen to.
Recently, I had an ill-dressed, grumpy 60ish patient who cut his head on a door and had two serious lacerations that I had to repair. He'd been surly to the nurses, and answered all of my questions roughly and with as few words as possible.
I gathered my supplies and brought my iPhone into the room. I asked if he would like to listen to some music while I sewed. He looked at me, and gruffly told me that I wouldn't have his favorite music available. I assured him that I could play anything. He responded with, "I like classical music. Do you have any of that?"
Looking him square in the eye, I asked him, "symphony or pops?" He held my gaze for a just a beat and then smiled. "Symphony of course."
While I set up to suture him, he was silent for a moment and then stated, "guess, you wouldn't think someone like me would listen to classical music." I assured him that I never made assumptions about people. He then went on to talk about his love of Western movies as a kid and how the background music was classical music. That's where his love of classical music grew.
We listened to Brahms while I closed his laceration. For a few moments, we left the E.D. and were transported to a more gentile time. When men tipped their hats to women, fought for their honor, and rode their horses into the sunset.... Not a bad way to spend part of my day...